By Alice Lubwama
Government has unveiled its economic stimulus and Growth Strategy that will be implemented starting in new financial year.
Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija said the economic stimuli is aimed at improving well being of Ugandans, boosting economic transformation; and improving peace, security and good governance.
Kasaija says that the Corona Virus pandemic has brought to the front the need to ensure adequate food security and nutrition within the country.
Government intends to commercially develop 14 products including; maize, cassava, banana, beans, Irish potato, sweet potato, millet, sugar cane, cattle (beef), dairy, coffee, tea, cocoa and fish.
It also plans to reduce post-harvest loses by constructing storage facilities of 42,000 Metric Tonnes capacity that commenced in Iganga, Isingiro, Amuru, Kalungu, and Nebbi.
Kasaija said that in order to improve nutrition, Government will aggressively implement programs to ensure adequate sensitization and awareness on the benefits of good nutrition for health and well being.
Government has also encouraged Ugandans to emphasize physical and mental activity by exercising regularly and making healthy choices of food, and reading and writing.
Kasaija also revealed that funding has been availed to procure Corona Virus test kits and other materials in order to curb the spread of the virus and ensure readiness for possible secondary waves of infections.
“Government will enhance surveillance and decentralization of management of the Corona Virus in the country,and also support scientific research and innovations especially in vaccine development.” Kasaija said.
In order to ensure universal access to safe , clean water and improved sanitation, kasaija said that Government plans to construct nine Gravity Flow Schemes (GFS), Forty solar powered Water Supply Systems; and drill 455 water wells.
“There are also plans to intensify monitoring and forecasting of weather and water levels, floods and effectively disseminate information to guide policy actions by stakeholders and enforce environment protection regulations for settlements on lake shores, riverbanks, wetlands, forests and flood prone areas.” He said.
Kasaija also said that they had set aside 45 billion shillings to help the vulnerable population especially the elderly to address the aftermath of the recent emergencies that will involve the continued provision of relief aid in response to the Corona Virus crisis, and natural disasters such as the locust invasion and climate change crisis floods and landslides.
“There are also plans to roll out the Social Assistance Grant for the Elderly (SAGE) nationwide to persons aged 80 years and above, including the elderly aged 65 years in the piloted 15 districts with Shs107Bn set aside for this intervention.” kasaija noted.